Section 3 of the bill requires a local government to process a complete application for the collocation of a wireless service facility within 90 days and to process a complete application that involves a new structure or a new wireless service facility other than a collocation within 150 days. There is an exception to these deadlines for the provider to respond to a request for additional information, and the parties may agree to waive the deadlines. Section 3 also requires a local government to allow a permit applicant to consolidate applications and receive a single permit for a small cell network that is within the jurisdiction of a single local government and to consolidate documents and administrative proceedings if an applicant is collocating several wireless service facilities within a single local government.
Sections 4, 5, and 6 expand parts of the law relating to access to public rights-of-way for telecommunications providers to include broadband providers, which include cable operators. Specifically, section 5 grants a broadband provider the right to construct, maintain, and operate facilities along any public highway. Section 6 requires a political subdivision's tax, fee, or charge to be competitively neutral among telecommunications providers and broadband providers and prohibits a political subdivision from collecting taxes, fees, and charges from a broadband provider through in-kind services, or requiring in-kind services as a condition to use a highway.
Section 7 requires the state or a political subdivision to provide notice to a broadband provider of a utility trenching project that the state or political subdivision conducts and to allow joint trenching by broadband providers on a nonexclusive and nondiscriminatory basis. Notice of the trenching project will be given to any broadband provider that requests to be included on a public list maintained by the department of transportation.
Section 8 creates a state sales and use tax exemption for the sale or lease to a broadband provider of tangible personal property that is used directly in the provider's network for the provision of broadband service. Section 2 of the bill permits a statutory county, city, or town to create a local sales and use tax exemption that is identical to the state exemption. It also repeals separate authority for local governments to create a similar sales and use tax exemption.